A pastor who bragged about punching a child and then “lead[ing] him to the Lord right there” has apologised for his actions.
“I do not condone abuse in any form,” a statement from Eric Dammann, pastor and senior elder at Bible Baptist Church in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, reads.
“I chose a very poor example from my past and very poor wording to describe it and deeply regret using it. By viewing the clip it is certainly understandable how outraged people are. I acted out in one moment many years ago, it is not how I believe people especially a pastor should act.
“My actions were not reflective of Christ and the teachings of the bible. I was wrong, there are no excuses to be made. I was forgiven by Ben many years ago and can only ask the same from my church, community and the world.”
Dammann is seen recounting the story from his time as a youth pastor in a YouTube clip that now has over 2.3 million views.
In what appears to be a sermon, Damman describes the young man in question, Ben, as “a nice kid, just one of those kids…he was a real smart alec. He was a bright kid, which didn’t help things, right? [It] made him more dangerous.”
He then says he was leading a youth group when Ben began “trying to push my buttons, and he was just not taking the Lord serious. And I walked over to him…punched him in the chest as hard as I [could]. I crumpled the kid, I just crumpled him.
“And I leaned over and I said ‘Ben, when are you going to stop playing games with God?’ I led that man to the Lord right there,” Damman adds.
“There’s times when that might be needed.”
His comments have been met with universal outrage, and when contacted by the Daily Mail, Damman said his actions were “inexcusable”.
In the statement posted on the Bible Baptist Church website, he notes that the incident occured 13 years ago, and he now “deeply regret[s]” it.
Source: Christian Today
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